Short Stories

Everything Stops for Tea – Murder Mystery Grand Finale

I started writing a murder mystery some time ago, This is the final chapter.

If you’d like to read this story from the beginning, click on this link:

https://talesfromthemindofkristian.wordpress.com/2018/07/11/the-start-of-it-a-short-story-with-familiar-characters/

Everything Stops for Tea

She had only taken one sip of the tea when the doorbell rang yet again. It was an impudent ring and it didn’t surprise her at all when Alice opened the door and her great-nephew bounded in.

“Afternoon Auntie, I got your note” Charles beamed at her then looked around at the gathered assembly. “What’s this all about Aunt Audrey? Did you want to make up a four for Bridge? That’s not really my game, more of a Cribbage man myself.”

“Just be quiet Charles and sit over there” Audrey pointed at a vacant chair next to Lord Halifax.

Audrey stood up and cleared her throat.

I have asked you all here to discuss the unfortunate deaths of Elsie Taplow and Claudia Halifax.

Audrey couldn’t complain she hadn’t received due attention. Several pairs of eyes were locked on her.

“Why didn’t you tell me you were going to do this?” Sir Alfred was clearly taken off guard “We were supposed to be working together.”

Standing at her full height, Audrey’s blue eyes flashed, she had never looked more alive.

“I couldn’t trust you fully. You could have very well been the killer. You came to call on me very early on that morning when poor Elsie’s body was found. You could have just come from killing her. I’ve seen it before, an old policeman, feeling obsolete and no longer useful. They go off the rails a bit. They want to make themselves important again, make themselves relevant. So why not create a murder to make them more relevant?”

Sir Alfred looked quite pale as he sat there looking up at Audrey.

Continue reading Everything Stops for Tea – Murder Mystery Grand Finale

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A Factor in Being Catholic – The Murder Mystery Continues.

 

I started writing a murder mystery some time ago, we are almost at the end now.

I wish to apologise to readers. I expected this to be the last part, but I find that it is longer than I realised. That’s what comes of writing a story ‘on the hoof’ so to speak, rather than having it all planned out. I hope you will forgive me that there is a little more to come. I will endeavour to have it finished as soon as possible.

If you’d like to read this story from the beginning, click on this link:

https://talesfromthemindofkristian.wordpress.com/2018/07/11/the-start-of-it-a-short-story-with-familiar-characters/

 

A Factor in being Catholic

At Audrey’s request to see Lord Halifax, the butler took a deep breath. It seemed to say that he’d never heard such an audacious request before. She was trying to remember the butler’s name. She had after all, dined there on rare occasions. She had been very good friends with Claudia Halifax but her husband had always been an austere man who didn’t like company much. The name came back to her, it was Burroughs.

“He is at home, isn’t he Burroughs?” She asked, hoping that using his name might make him a little more helpful.

“Yes, he is Madam, if you would wait in the hall, I will enquire if he is receiving visitors.”

Continue reading A Factor in Being Catholic – The Murder Mystery Continues.

The Music Maiden – A short poem, Inspired by Kira’s Sunday Scribbles

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Music Maiden

 

You are a music maiden,

Your melody flows around.

With talent you’re beladen,

Your creativity, unbound.

 

The notes and keys bounce round your knees.

The tune sounds clear when you are near.

 

Without any ambiguity,

We marvel at your ingenuity.

Long may we hear your joyful song,

One day, we may sing along.

 

Copyright: Kristian Fogarty 27/August/2018

 

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2018/08/26/kiras-sunday-scribbles-5/

 

FOWC with Fandango — Ingenuity

 

Sunday Afternoon Reading – My Fantasy Story Part 23.

I was posting instalments of the Fantasy story I wrote 17 years ago every Sunday and Wednesday afternoons. The most observant amongst you may have realised that I haven’t posted an instalment in some time. In fact, the last one was posted last Friday, the 17th of August.

Well here is the next part. I hope you are enjoying it.

If you want to read it from its genesis, here is the link:

https://talesfromthemindofkristian.wordpress.com/2018/05/26/a-fantasy-tale-part-one/

 

Part Twenty-Three

Piotr Drake had not been enjoying himself. No, not at all. He was not in the best of moods. He had been travelling on the road for several days, since leaving the City of Savarias, on horse back and dressed up like a Mage. This had presented a couple of problems for Piotr. Firstly, that despite being a coachman he was not at all a good horse rider. He was fine with horses when he was sitting up high and they were harnessed to the coach and he had the reins and his whip. He found sitting on them quite unbearable. Truth be known he was not at all fond of horses. Riding them, he felt that the horse was more in control of the situation than he was. It took all his strength and stamina to keep the horse from straying from the road to have a munch of some tempting thicket. The way Piotr gripped his reins you would have thought he was riding a fierce stallion. Actually the horse was a particularly docile example and had been christened by its original owner, ‘Plodder’.

Continue reading Sunday Afternoon Reading – My Fantasy Story Part 23.

In Strident Tones – The Murder Mystery Continues

I started writing a murder mystery some time ago, we are almost at the end now. This is the penultimate instalment before the final reveal (and possibly an epilogue). I know I said that last time, but this time I mean it. 🙂

If you want to read this story from the beginning click on this link:

https://talesfromthemindofkristian.wordpress.com/2018/07/11/the-start-of-it-a-short-story-with-familiar-characters/

 

In Strident Tones

Audrey Patterson walked out of the Scotland Yard building, headquarters of the Metropolitan Police, and headed in the general direction of Whitehall. She could see the clocktower, commonly known as Big Ben, in the distance and the spires of the Palace of Westminster. Despite the fact she had lived in London for most of her life the sight of the Houses of Parliament always took her breath away slightly.

She was a swift walker; her Mother had always told her off for taking large strides. “A Lady always takes small steps. You walk like a man, Audrey” Her mother would chastise her in strident tones. Well she was impatient to get to her destination.

Continue reading In Strident Tones – The Murder Mystery Continues

The Greatest Dancer – A silly poem

This poem was inspired by the Three Things Challenge set by Theresa the Haunted Wordsmith, It’s great to see her back.

https://thehauntedwordsmith.wordpress.com/2018/08/24/three-things-challenge-24-august-2018/

Today’s things are: flower pot, stereo instructions, dancer

Plus the Word of the Day: Bravado

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2018/08/24/bravado/

and Fandango’s Word: Reflex.

FOWC with Fandango — Reflex

 

The Greatest Dancer

I am the greatest dancer

when I have had a few

Like a noble pony prancer

you’ve seen nothing like I can do

 

I give it everything I’ve got,

with a bravado something keen

around a handbag, or flower pot

with a passion, you’ve never seen.

 

They tell me, I’m something great,

when I get out on the floor,

I kick my feet and while I gyrate,

everyone else runs out the door.

 

I have a reflex like a cat,

that’s what one survivor said

though he was a bit delirious

when I accidentally kicked him in the head.

 

So let me put on my favourite songs

I know that there’ll be major ructions

an exodus of desperate throngs

as I reach for the stereo instructions. 

 

Copyright: Kristian Fogarty 24/August/2018

Picture from Pexels, Free WordPress Picture Library

 

Kira’s Sunday Scribbles – The Hidden Void

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In the fourth dimensional darkness,

I stare into space and see

a pair of cerulean eyes staring back at me.

As I tremble gazing into starkness,

that nondescript hidden void,

I close the kitchen cupboard door

feeling rather annoyed.

My memory, it’s very poor.

I’d forgotten what I’d gone there for. 

 

Copyright: Kristian Fogarty 20/August/2018

 

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2018/08/20/nondescript/

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2018/08/19/kiras-sunday-scribbles-4/

https://biaatlas.wordpress.com/2018/08/20/your-daily-word-prompt-cerulean-august-20th-2018/

 

I’m No longer a Spy – A Silly Rhyme

This Spying game,

It’s such a shame,

I’m not cut out for it you see.

When I trail a bloke

I cough and choke

And they find out It’s me.

I’m far too clumsy,

Yes, it’s true,

To be a proper spy.

I trip and fall,

Fall off the wall,

No matter how I try.

I’m no good undercover

I failed miserably at that.

I’m too easy to discover

even if I wear a hat.

I tried going incognito

With a leg that’s lame

Despite being incredibly discreto

I couldn’t remember my sodding name.

It’s far too much to handle

This cloak and daggers lark

I went and caused a scandal

when they found me naked in the dark.

So, I’ve handed in my notice

“It’s for the best” spymaster said.

As a spy, I’m totally hopeless

So, I’ve joined the police instead.

 

Copyright: Kristian Fogarty 15/August/2018

 

This was inspired by the following word prompts:

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2018/08/15/spying/#like-378

FOWC with Fandango — Handle

 

Also, my pal, A guy called bloke, is hosting a murder-mystery challenge, so check it out here:

Are You A Snifty Sleuth?

 

I hope he doesn’t mind, I have borrowed one of his pictures.

 

Credit where credit is due, the featured picture is from pixabay

 

The Wind Sheds No Tears – Part Five

This is a part of a longer story that I have been writing over the last few weeks. 

See here for the last part of the story, which also contains links to all the others, if you want to read more:

https://talesfromthemindofkristian.wordpress.com/2018/04/19/the-wind-sheds-no-tears-part-four/

Part Five

The next day Pablo woke early. The sun was just coming up over the horizon, its light slowly ebbing into the dark night sky, hiding all its stars and turning it blue and getting brighter and brighter towards the east.

He put a small pack together, a change of clothes and a few simple belongings, he didn’t own much. He also put on the silver St Christopher charm necklace that his mother had given him. He didn’t usually wear it as the memories of his mother filled him with that longing for her touch that would never come. It was a charm to protect travellers and he was going with his Uncle Carlos to the City of Valencia. Likely, he would need its protection now.

Continue reading The Wind Sheds No Tears – Part Five

The Strange Inheritance – Part Five – A Multiple Word Prompt Story

This is a continuation of a story I was writing some time ago. See here for the last instalment.

https://talesfromthemindofkristian.wordpress.com/2018/09/10/the-strange-inheritance-part-four-a-multiple-word-prompt-story/

I had to take a break from writing it because I was having nightmares. It is a rather scary story and I have a vivid imagination.

This story was inspired by the following word prompts:

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2018/09/24/taciturn/#like-462

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2018/09/24/rdp-monday-quaint/

https://thehauntedwordsmith.wordpress.com/2018/09/24/three-things-challenge-24-sept-2018/

Today’s things are: chemistry, biology, glow

 

James and Jennifer came downstairs after searching Aunt Elizabeth’s room. Her suitcase containing her old-fashioned dresses was still there, as were her teeth in the glass next to the bed, but of Aunt Elizabeth there was no sign whatsoever.

After the night they’d had with all the whispering noises and then the screams it somehow made it all so much more real now that one of their number had disappeared.

James didn’t seem too put out by it. He was his usual taciturn self and he hadn’t liked Aunt Elizabeth at all. Jennifer couldn’t quite say she had liked Aunt Elizabeth, there was something far too creepy about her, but she was very upset at her having disappeared.

“Don’t worry, Jenn, she’ll turn up. I expect she rose early and went for a walk in the grounds.” James said reassuringly.

“What, with all that rain we had last night? And her teeth still in the glass? I don’t think so, James. I want to go, leave this place.”

“What? And forfeit Uncle Joshua’s money? It will all go to that weird organisation he was a member of, the Black Rose, do you really want that to happen? Come on Jenn, pull yourself together. It’s only for one more night.”

Just then they heard the front door open. They ran down the stairs expecting to see their Aunt, but it was Mrs Ponsomby come to make breakfast.

“Good Morning. I’ve brought some bacon and sausages. I bet you could do with a good fry up after a night in this place. Where’s your Aunt?” Mrs Ponsomby stood there carrying a quaint old wicker basket with various groceries in. She appeared reassuringly normal and untouched by the strangeness of the house.

Jennifer responded “We can’t seem to find Auntie, she may well be in the Kitchen, that’s the last place we haven’t checked yet. That and the Cellar of course.”

Mrs Ponsomby seemed to pale at the mention of the cellar. Jennifer thought it was odd. Aunt Elizabeth had that same reticence about going down to the cellar and of course, the warning “Don’t go down to the Cellar after Midnight” Still rang in her ears after she’d nearly done just that. James has stopped her, God only knows what may have happened to her, if not for her Brother.

They all went into the Kitchen. It was cold, damp and deserted.

Walking over to the oven, Mrs Ponsomby tried to turn it on, but nothing happened. It was an electric oven and it became apparent that in the storm, the electrics had blown.

“Where is the fuse board Mrs Ponsomby?” James asked.

“It’s down in the cellar, just at the foot of the stairs. There’s a hand torch just inside the door. You don’t mind going down there and turning the trip switch back on, do you? I just hate going down there unless I can’t avoid it.”

“No, I don’t mind. Jenn, you stay here and help Mrs Ponsomby, I’ll only be a jiffy.”

James opened the door to the cellar, it creaked in a most theatrical manner but that was understandable, as no one seemed to want to open it. He found the hand torch just inside the door and turned it on. It gave a very yellow beam of light, but it was sufficient to see by. The wooden steps descended quite steeply into the gloom. An unpleasant dank smell, dusty and cold, like a tomb assaulted his nostrils. James walked slowly down the steps. As well as the light from the torch, there was a faint glow coming from the deep recesses of the cellar. It made the hairs on the back of his neck stand on end.

At the bottom of the stairs, he found the fuse box, which he opened. He quickly found the trip switch and flipped it up, restoring electricity to the house. He heard a high pitched whirr that was the only indication that it had worked. Next to the fuse box was a light switch and James quickly reached out and flicked that on. He wanted there to be more light, he wanted to dispel that horrible sensation at the back of his neck that someone was standing there staring at him.

The light came on, temporarily blinding him, but he blinked and his eyes adjusted, revealing nothing.

No-one was standing there, but James suddenly had his first proper glimpse of the Cellar.

It appeared to go the full length and breadth of the house, brick arches and pillars divided the space into chambers. The next chamber along from the stairs was the largest one. James was surprised to see it was fully furnished with bookshelves and two leather armchairs. There was an old-fashioned rug on the floor, a tiger skin that had its head on. The glass eyes seemed to be staring at him.

In the corner, there was a workbench on which were several glass objects of the find you would find in a chemistry lab. On the shelves were several jars containing chemicals, some of which emitted a kind of eerie glow. James took a step back when he noticed that some of the jars contained human organs, hearts, livers and even brains, like a macabre biology experiment.

James was strangely attracted and repelled by the strange objects in equal measure. He found himself fascinated, a fascination that threatened to become an obsession. He couldn’t just turn and leave, he had to explore further.

James walked over to one of the large armchairs. Next to the chair was a table on which a very ancient looking book rested. The leather was crumbly but it had words written on the cover. The title was ‘Malleus Maleficarum’. James didn’t know any Latin, but he had heard of this book, it was notorious and rather alarming.

Just then he heard a voice calling. It was Jennifer.

“James, James? Are you OK, you’ve been down there for a long time. The electric’s back on, you can come back now. Breakfast will be ready soon.” Jennifer sounded nervous as she shouted to him.

“I’m coming back now, Jenn. Don’t worry.”

James reluctantly left the cellar, but he meant to return to explore further later. Now he had seen it, he couldn’t stay away.

End of Part Five.

 

Copyright: Kristian Fogarty 24/September/2018

Kira’s Sunday Scribbles

The Word of the Day, Kira’s Sunday Scribbles is now out.

Use this weird and wonderful unique drawing to inspire you to write something amazing. 🙂

Word of the Day Challenge

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Welcome to Kira’s weekly inspirational art piece.

Let the whole picture tell you a story, or dive into the small intricate details to make one up! Write a poem, a fiction piece or come up with a picture or drawing of your own, that you feel relates to it.

Feel free to copy Kira’s drawing, to add it to your own post!

Anything goes, there are no rules. But don’t forget to link us to your post with a pingback. Not sure how to do that? See how to create pingbacks here.

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Manic Mondays 3-Way Challenge – Personal Scars – A story in less than 100 words.

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This story was written in response to Laura M Bailey’s challenge. See Link:

https://alltheshoesiwear.wordpress.com/2018/09/24/manic-mondays-3-way-prompt-scars/

You may also wish to read my previous 3-way challenge story because this one follows it:

https://talesfromthemindofkristian.wordpress.com/2018/09/17/manic-mondays-3-way-challenge-caught-in-the-boondocks/

Personal Scars

She was deeply scarred and yet her body was truly beautiful.

Her skin was adorned with the most opulent tattoo of blossom flowers, to represent her youth and beauty.

Her skin was perfect, unblemished; not a mole, freckle or mark disfigured that exquisite body.

All her scars were internal, personal. They were around her heart.

One day she hoped to meet a man who loved her and didn’t hurt her.

One day she hoped to find someone who didn’t just see her beauty as a way to make money.

The End

Copyright: Kristian Fogarty 24/September/2018

https://onedailyprompt.wordpress.com/2018/09/24/your-daily-word-prompt-opulent-september-24th-2018/

FOWC with Fandango — Personal

 

 

 

Multiple Word Prompt Story – An Obsequious Encounter.

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2018/09/23/obsequious/

https://fivedotoh.com/2018/09/23/fowc-with-fandango-bottle/

https://onedailyprompt.wordpress.com/2018/09/23/your-daily-word-prompt-dedicate-september-23rd-2018/

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2018/09/23/rdp-for-sunday-panoply/

https://swimmersweek.wordpress.com/2018/09/23/corn/#like-113

https://thehauntedwordsmith.wordpress.com/2018/09/23/three-things-challenge-23-sept-2018/

Today’s things are: candy, teeth, grater

 

 

“Let me dedicate myself to your service,” The man said in a rather obsequious manner, grabbing her hand.

“Er, Ok, I suppose” responded Deborah, looking about and trying to find a way to escape.

“Look above us, there is a panoply of stars, yet their beauty is nothing compared to yours” the man continued.

Deborah couldn’t help wondering where this guy was from. Who speaks like that nowadays? He had a way that set her teeth on edge and she regretted sitting next to him now.

Then she saw a group of guys emerge from the trees laughing at them.

“Hey, Look. Lawrence has found another victim to test his lines out on” Shouted one of the men. His laugh was like a grater on her nerves.

She pulled her hand away and stood up. The man’s appearance changed and became more normal again. He smiled at her and she realised he had nice eyes.

“Sorry, I just couldn’t resist trying out some lines and seeing how you’d react, it’s for my drama class. Would you like some candy?” He pulled out a bag of sweets from his pocket and offered them to her but she declined.

“Are you an actor then?” Deborah asked. Now he was no longer grovelling and spouting gibberish he seemed a lot nicer.

“No, not really, but one day I hope to be very famous. Are you sure you wouldn’t like some candy corn?”

“No thanks. I need to be getting home.”

One of the guys came over with a beer bottle in his hand “Come on Lawrence, we’ll be late for the club.”

Lawrence looked into her eyes, “Goodbye, what’s your name by the way?”

“It’s Deborah, Deborah Phillips”.

“Nice to meet you, Deborah.”

He joined his mates and they walked off towards the centre of town, she heard someone say “I don’t know how you do it, you just look at them and smile and they seem to fall in love with you”

That wiped the smile of Deborah’s face. She walked towards her house and let herself in. Her parents were watching television in the lounge, it was one of those Crimewatch shows. Just then she saw him, the man in the park. The man on the T.V. was holding up a photograph of Lawrence.

“This man wanted in several states, he’s known as the Candyman. He offers young girls drugged candy then he rapes them. Be on the lookout for him, he is thought to operate in a gang, but he is the one who lures the girls.”

Deborah passed out in the hall.

 

Copyright: Kristian Fogarty 23/September/2018

A Tribute to Chas Hodges of Chas & Dave

 

A Music legend died yesterday on the 22nd of September 2018. He was 74 years old.

His name was Charles Hodges, (known as Chas) and he was half of a musical Duo that has been around since the late 1970’s, called Chas & Dave.

Chas Hodges and his friend Dave Peacock decided to form a band to write and perform songs in their native Cockney tongue, so if you want to hear what a proper Cockney sounds like, then have a listen.

Their music is a bit like the equivalent of Bluegrass. It is a remnant of a folksy tradition of singing around an old out of tune pub piano that came out of East London.

I don’t expect their music has travelled far afield out of the UK, but in tribute to Chas Hodges, I would like to share a few examples.

This one was their first big hit – Called ‘Gertcha’.

 

This is another typical example of their music.

 

And this one is my personal favourite, It’s a little bit more commercial.

 

It’s called ‘Ain’t no pleasing you.’

Any Rest in Peace Chas Hodges. Thank you for the music.

 

The Blogger Recognition Award

blogger_award

 

I have the great honour of being nominated for this award by the wonderful Laleh Chini of A Voice from Iran, whose blog is absolutely marvellous. She tells the most excellent short stories which have so much heart. I always look out for her posts in my e-mail inbox because I know it will always be a great read. If you don’t believe me, check out her blog here:

https://avoicefromiran.wordpress.com/2018/09/22/blogger-recognition-award-nominations/

 

The Rules

1. Thank the blogger that nominated you. – Thank you Laleh, Much appreciated 🙂 

2. Write a post to show your award. – Here you go

3. Give a brief story of how your blog started. – OK

4. Give two pieces of advice to new bloggers. – OK

5. Select 15 other bloggers you want to give this award to. – This is where I’ll become a rule breaker. 

6. Comment on each blog and let them know you have nominated them and provide the link to the post you created.

 

 

How my Blog Started.

Well, I have written about this before, see here:

https://talesfromthemindofkristian.wordpress.com/2018/07/22/the-bloggers-recognition-award-nomination/

To summarize.

  • Always loved writing
  • Did a creative writing course that was like throwing petrol on the fire of my creativity
  • Saw a link to WordPress
  • Started Blogging
  • Loved every minute of it.

 

Advice

Well, I am no expert. I don’t really know what I am doing and I am not the type to plan things in advance. I just wanted somewhere to put all the stories and poems that I had floating around in my head. This seemed the best way to do it. I am just grateful that people have stopped by my blog, read what I have done and liked it and left helpful comments. There is plenty of advice out there about how to build up your blog, but two things I will say is:

  • The key is to write about something you love.
  • If it starts to become a chore then take a break.

My Nominees:

There are so many wonderful blogs out there that I enjoy reading, quite a few have decided to become non-award sites

Like Denny at

https://theceaselessreaderwrites.wordpress.com/

and

Granonine at

https://lindaswritingblog.wordpress.com/

And others I can mention like, The Haunted Wordsmith, Crushed Caramel, Bitchin’ in the Kitchen, A Guy Called Bloke, The Floating Thoughts, Novus Lectio, Esther Chilton, Melanie B Cee, Kristian at Life Lessons from Around the Dinner Table, Cyranny’s Cove and Dee Kelly from Thriving not Surviving, to name but a few.

I also don’t want this to become a burden to anyone.

Basically, If you read my posts, and you want to take part in this award, particularly if you haven’t done it before, then YOU ARE NOMINATED.

🙂 

 

Thank you and have a nice rest of your Sunday,

 

CARNIVAL

The Word of the Day is Carnival,

I hope you enjoy writing a post inspired by this word.

Word of the Day Challenge

The Word of the Day is Carnival.

Please create a pingback to your post by including a link to this page in whatever you are posting.

If you want to participate create a pingback to link your post. Not sure how to do that? See how to create pingbacks here.

https://en.support.wordpress.com/comments/pingbacks/

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